Nigeria should leverage creative industry to boost export earnings, says UBA Deputy Managing Director

Muyiwa Akinyemi, Deputy Managing Director, United Bank for Africa Plc, said the federal government should leverage creative industry opportunities to generate sustainable export revenue.

Akinyemi said so on Saturday at the annual conference of the Financial Correspondents Association of Nigeria (FICAN) in Lagos.

The theme of the conference was: “Boosting National Capacity for Sustainable Export Earnings”.

Akinyemi said the country’s creative industry was the second-largest growing industry in the world, boosted by emerging digital trends in technology.

He added that the tech industry was a huge space that Nigeria needed to take advantage of.

“Historically some of us grew up in Nigeria with the peanut pyramids in Kano, the cocoa houses in Ibadan and a few other places like that, but over time when we discovered the black gold , we have abandoned these raw materials,” Akinyemi said. .

“What I see happening now is that we are heading towards the third export revolution, the ‘japa syndrome’. So it’s the export of knowledge that’s happening right now and not only is that happening in this space, but you also have a technological revolution.

“The Yaba Innovation Center portends a lot of smart guys building things in the world of fintech and tech that aren’t even recognized, but it’s a huge potential full of business. export. We are in this technological space where Nigeria must take advantage of it.

Akinyemi added that 200 exporters were responsible for 95% of the $4.2 billion the country earned from non-oil exports in 2021.

He said “the $4.2 billion made in 2021 did not include informal exports largely in wholesale trade in certain sectors such as information technology, entertainment and solid minerals.”

Akinyemi, however, urged the government to look at the creative industry the same way it has focused on export, raw materials and crude oil.

“Most of the countries you go to in Africa today or the world when you talk about Nollywood, its second biggest industry. Music – Wizkid, D’ banj, Burna boy, are all huge export revenue which we didn’t benefit from,” the deputy general manager said.

“Knowledge and creative skills are the third wave of exports we see in Nigeria today. How do we support these young stars?

“It’s not just about talking about it on Facebook or Instagram, it’s about how we harness those capabilities and weave them into an industry that will generate huge revenue for us.”

The Deputy Managing Director of UBA further commended the efforts of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) and the Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) for what they are doing as well as the incentives provided by the Central Bank of Nigeria and a rebate program launched to boost export earnings.

According to him, the reimbursement scheme should be done from the fiscal point of view for economic growth and development.